Ultimate girls’ night
Sometimes we want something with more pizzazz than a country pub! Make mine a Chanel martini and keep 'em coming at Ascot Fifty5.
Whoop, whoop! Lock up your men ‘cos it’s Friday night and this lady’s hitting the town! OK, so I’m married and the men are safe, but the rather upmarket old town of Ascot is not. Destination – Ascot Fifty 5. Mission – to locate the ultimate girls’ night out buzz.
Ascot Fifty 5 is a wine and cocktail bar that’s putting on the glitz in an area that is seriously lacking in anything similar. Well, can you think of another place with chandeliers, vintage decanters and flock wallpaper?! Basically it’s bling-tastic and a welcome antidote to the Farrow and Ball walls and washed pine tables of the local pubs, Lead on, I’m all for it.
Glam, buzzy and dripping with champers and crystal, whether you’re heading here with for pre-dinner cocktails or fancy drinks and a shimmy into the small hours, this is the place to be. The lighting is low, the button-backed booths are comfy, Coco Chanel quotes remind you it’s important to to always drink Champagne (happy to oblige), a fabulous VIP area (celeb-spotting obligatory), cool cocktails, premium sprits and a DJ pumping out delicious dance floor classics.
It’s worth noting, Ascot Fifty 5 runs a very strict door policy, which means you and the girls can get down to the serious business of having a laugh without sleazy drunks killing your vibe. If you need an excuse to get dressed up and head out for the night, this is it.
SCOFF & QUAFF
Note to self: they don’t do food, although there is one exception. More about that in a mo. If you’re out for the long haul, head here for pre-dinner drinks from 6pm or totter along after a nosh up and tuck into the end-of-evening cocktails before ripping up the dancefloor – it’s open until 3am! Not sure I could make it to 3am these days, although the choons are unbelievably crowd-pleasing, so I’m happy to give it a bash.
A London mixologist has been lured out to the home counties to shake and stir any drink you desire. There are 12 signature cocktails on the menu, but if you fancy testing Ascot Fifty 5’s man will the gilded cocktail shaker, then be my guest. I eased myself in with a Bombay Sapphire gin, before moving onto the cocktail list. I avoided the obvious Porn Star Martini (so very 2018) for something more fashionable – a Chanel Martini – consisting of coconut and vanilla. It sounds weird but was surprisingly refreshing.
Upstairs, you’ll find the VIP area and it was love at first sight. Definitely my natural habitat, as I live it up like I’m Queen Bey, it’s decadent, intimate and you organise your drinks in advance so need to fight your way to the bar. There are a number of circular banquettes, a large bar, but it’s anything but sedate. Just watch yourself on the stairs in your stilettos. It’s a bit steep especially after a few. It felt like the descent from Mount Everest.
Now back to the food (or lack of). If you’re in the area during Royal Ascot, then you can book in for breakfast at Ascot Fifty 5. The town is gridlocked for the whole week, so many racegoers and sun seekers come early, enjoy a leisurely brekkie, couple of glasses of fizz and then head up to see Her Maj and the gee gees in the afternoon.
THE MUDDY VERDICT
Good for: Girls’ nights out, fun date nights, pre-dinner drinkies and getting the gang together to celebrate just about anything. Plus its open until 3am. Want the place all to yourself? No problemo. Ascot Fifty 5 is available for private hire and even recently hosted a Sweet 16th with mocktails and DJ.
Not for: Young people – it’s strictly 25+. It’s also currently only open Fridays and Saturdays, so if you want to go out on a Thursday, you’ll struggle.
The damage: It depends on your tastebuds. Cocktails are a very reasonable £8 but there are some seriously spenny bubbles and bottles of spirits behind the bar.
Ascot Fifty 5, 55 High Street Ascot Berkshire SL5 7HP. Tel: 01372 777 777.